Publications by authors named "Diego Medvedofsky"

56 Publications

Left Ventricular Global Longitudinal Strain as a Predictor of Outcomes in Patients with Heart Failure with Secondary Mitral Regurgitation: The COAPT Trial.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

MedStar Health Research Institute, Washington, District of Columbia; Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:

Background: Left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS) is a sensitive marker of LV function and may help identify patients with heart failure (HF) and secondary mitral regurgitation who would have a better prognosis and are more likely to benefit from edge-to-edge transcatheter mitral valve repair with the MitraClip. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic utility of baseline LV GLS during 2-year follow-up of patients with HF with secondary mitral regurgitation enrolled in the Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients with Functional Mitral Regurgitation trial.

Methods: Patients with symptomatic HF with moderate to severe or severe secondary mitral regurgitation who remained symptomatic despite maximally tolerated guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) were randomized to transcatheter mitral valve repair plus GDMT or GDMT alone. Speckle-tracking-derived LV GLS from baseline echocardiograms was obtained in 565 patients and categorized in tertiles. Death and HF hospitalization at 2-year follow-up were the principal outcomes of interest.

Results: Patients with better baseline LV GLS had higher blood pressure, greater LV ejection fraction and stroke volume, lower levels of B-type natriuretic peptide, and smaller LV size. No significant difference in outcomes at 2-year follow-up were noted according to LV GLS. However, the rate of death or HF hospitalization between 10 and 24 months was lower in patients with better LV GLS (P = .03), with no differences before 10 months. There was no interaction between GLS tertile and treatment group with respect to 2-year clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: Baseline LV GLS did not predict death or HF hospitalization throughout 2-year follow-up, but it did predict outcomes after 10 months. The benefit of transcatheter mitral valve repair over GDMT alone was consistent in all subgroups irrespective of baseline LV GLS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.04.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Pericardiocentesis induced right ventricular changes in patients with and without pulmonary hypertension.

Echocardiography 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Background: Pericardial effusion drainage in patients with significant pulmonary hypertension (PH) has been questioned because of hemodynamic collapse concern, mainly because of right ventricular (RV) function challenging assessment. We aimed to assess RV function changes related to pericardiocentesis in patients with and without PH.

Methods: Consecutive patients with symptomatic moderate-to-large pericardial effusion who had either echocardiographic or clinical signs of cardiac tamponade and who underwent pericardiocentesis from 2013 to 2018 were included. RV speckle-tracking echocardiography analysis was performed before and after pericardiocentesis. Patients were stratified by significant PH (pulmonary artery systolic pressure [PASP] ≥50 mm Hg).

Results: The study cohort consisted of 76 patients, 23 (30%) with PH. In patients with PH, both end-diastolic and end-systolic areas (EDA, ESA) increased significantly after pericardiocentesis (22.6 ± 8.0 cm -26.4 ± 8.4 cm , P = .01) and (15.9 ± 6.3 cm -18.7 ± 6.5 cm , P = .02), respectively. However, RV function indices including fractional area change (FAC: 30.6 ± 13.7%-29.1 ± 8.8%, P = .61) and free-wall longitudinal strain (FWLS: -16.7 ± 6.7 to -15.9 ± 5.0, P = .50) remained unchanged postpericardiocentesis. In contrast, in the non-PH group, after pericardiocentesis, EDA increased significantly (20.4 ± 6.2-22.4 ± 5.9 cm , P = .006) but ESA did not (14.9 ± 5.7 vs 15.0 ± 4.6 cm , P = .89), and RV function indices improved (FAC 27.9 ± 11.7%-33.1 ± 8.5%, P = .003; FWLS -13.6 ± 5.4 to -17.2 ± 3.9%, P < .001).

Conclusion: Quantification of RV size and function can improve understanding of echocardiographic and hemodynamic changes postpericardiocentesis, which has the potential to guide management of PH patients with large pericardial effusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.15046DOI Listing
April 2021

VE/VCO2 slope predicts RV dysfunction and mortality after left ventricular assist device: a fresh look at cardiopulmonary stress testing for prognostication.

J Artif Organs 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is well validated for prognostication before advanced surgical heart failure therapies, but its role in prognostication after LVAD surgery has never been studied. VE/VCO2 slope is an important component of CPET which has direct pathophysiologic links to right ventricular (RV) performance. We hypothesized that VE/VCO slope would prognosticate RV dysfunction after LVAD. All CPET studies from a single institution were collected between September 2009 and February 2019. Patients who ultimately underwent LVAD implantation were selectively analyzed. Peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 slope were measured for all patients. We evaluated their association with hemodynamic, echocardiographic and clinical markers of RV dysfunction as well mortality. Patients were stratified into those with a ventilatory class of III or greater. (VE/VCO2 slope of ≥ 36, n = 43) and those with a VE/VCO2 slope < 36 (n = 27). We compared the mortality between the 2 groups, as well as the hemodynamic, echocardiographic and clinical markers of RV dysfunction. 570 patients underwent CPET testing. 145 patients were ultimately referred to the advanced heart failure program and 70 patients later received LVAD implantation. Patients with VE/VCO2 slope of ≥ 36 had higher mortality (30.2% vs. 7.4%, p = 0.02) than patients with VE/VCO2 slope < 36 (n = 27). They also had a higher incidence of clinically important RVF (Acute severe 9.3% vs. 0%, Severe 32.6% vs 25.9%, p = 0.03). Patients with a VE/VCO2 slope ≥ 36 had a higher CVP than those with a lower VE/VCO2 slope (11.2 ± 6.1 vs. 6.0 ± 4.8 mmHg, p = 0.007), and were more likely to have a RA/PCWP ≥ 0.63 (65% vs. 19%, p = 0.008) and a PAPI ≤ 2 (57% vs. 13%, p = 0.008). In contrast, peak VO2 < 12 ml/kg/min was not associated with postoperative RV dysfunction or mortality. Elevated preoperative VE/VCO2 slope is a predictor of postoperative mortality, and is associated with postoperative clinical and hemodynamic markers of impaired RV performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10047-021-01261-9DOI Listing
April 2021

Three-Dimensional Echocardiographic Left Atrial Appendage Volumetric Analysis.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

MedStar Health and Vascular Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:

Background: Left atrial appendage (LAA) echocardiographic assessment is difficult because of the complex shape and relatively small size of the LAA. Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiographic imaging can overcome the limitations of two-dimensional imaging. Pulsed-wave Doppler is the only currently standard LAA functional parameter. The aim of this study was to test a new approach for 3D echocardiographic volumetric analysis to obtain LAA ejection fraction (EF), its size and shape.

Methods: Transesophageal two-dimensional and 3D LAA images were prospectively obtained in 159 consecutive patients. LAA volumes were measured from 3D echocardiographic images using available software. Pulsed-wave Doppler was considered the reference value for LAA function and was used for comparison with LAA EF. Comparison with cardiac computed tomography was performed in a subgroup of 32 patients. Comparisons included linear regression and Bland-Altman analyses. Repeated measurements were performed to assess measurement variability.

Results: Nine patients were excluded because of suboptimal image quality (94% feasibility). Three-dimensional LAA calculated EF was in good agreement with LAA pulsed-wave measurements. Three-dimensional morphologic evaluation showed that 43% of the patients had "chicken wing," 33% "cactus," 19% "windsock," and 5% cauliflower shapes. At the time of data acquisition, patients with atrial fibrillation had nonsignificantly larger LAA end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, leading to lower calculated EFs. Three-dimensional echocardiographic LAA end-systolic volumes were in good agreement with cardiac computed tomography (r = 0.75), with small biases (mean, -2.5 ± 3.9 ml). Reproducibility was better for larger LAA volumes.

Conclusions: A novel 3D echocardiographic approach can determine the geometry, size, and function of the LAA. A new parameter, LAA EF, provides functional quantitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.03.008DOI Listing
March 2021

Tricuspid valve injury after heart transplantation: how to monitor for rejection?

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging 2021 Feb 23. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjci/jeab035DOI Listing
February 2021

Left ventricular global longitudinal strain assessment in patients with Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: a call for an echocardiography-based classification.

Minerva Cardioangiol 2021 Jan 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TTC) is classified into 4 types dependent on anatomical area affected identified on gross visual assessment. We have sought to understand if it is feasible and advantageous to use left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LVGLS), LV segmental longitudinal strain and right ventricle free wall strain (RVFWS) to classify TTC.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study on twenty-five patients who meet the Modified Mayo Clinic Criteria for TTC [1]. Two independent reviewers performed strain analysis, they were both blinded to patient's diagnosed classification and outcomes.

Results: Based on classification by traditional assessment the 92% (n=23) were diagnosed with typical TTC, indicating apical involvement. The entire LV was affected, 67% (n=16) had abnormal strain (STE>-18) in all three LV regions (base, mid ventricle and apex). 71% of patients (n=17) had abnormal LVGLS (>-18). Abnormal strain across all three LV regions was associated with higher prevalence (70%, n=8 Vs 30%, n=4 respectively) of composite cardiovascular events and longer length of hospital stay. There was a statistically significant difference in average length of hospital stay in those patients who had abnormal strain in all three region compared to those that did not have abnormal strain across all three regions (8 days compared to 3.44 days, p value 0.02).

Conclusions: A new classification of TCC based on strain analysis should be developed. The traditional model is arbitrary; it fails to recognize that in most patients the entire LV is affect, it does not have prognostic significance and the most prevalent typical variant indicates apical involvement. Our study suggests that the entire LV is affected, and strain analysis has prognostic significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05386-4DOI Listing
January 2021

Pulmonary Hypertension in Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair for Secondary Mitral Regurgitation: The COAPT Trial.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 12;76(22):2595-2606

Cardiovascular Research Foundation, New York, New York; The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Background: Pulmonary hypertension worsens prognosis in patients with heart failure (HF) and secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR).

Objectives: This study sought to determine whether baseline pulmonary hypertension influences outcomes of transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) in patients with HF with SMR.

Methods: In the COAPT (Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients with Functional Mitral Regurgitation) trial, 614 patients with HF with moderate-to-severe or severe SMR were randomized to TMVr with the MitraClip plus guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) (n = 302) versus GDMT alone (n = 312). Baseline pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) estimated from echocardiography was categorized as substantially increased (≥50 mm Hg) versus not substantially increased (<50 mm Hg).

Results: Among 528 patients, 184 (82 TMVr, 102 GDMT) had PASP of ≥50 mm Hg (mean: 59.1 ± 8.8 mm Hg) and 344 (171 TMVr, 173 GDMT) had PASP of <50 mm Hg (mean: 36.3 ± 8.1 mm Hg). Patients with PASP of ≥50 mm Hg had higher 2-year rates of death or HF hospitalization (HFH) compared to those with PASP of <50 mm Hg (68.8% vs. 49.1%; adjusted hazard ratio: 1.52; 95% confidence interval: 1.17 to 1.97; p = 0.002). Rates of death or HFH were reduced by TMVr versus GDMT alone, irrespective of baseline PASP (p = 0.45). TMVr reduced PASP from baseline to 30 days to a greater than GDMT alone (adjusted least squares mean: -4.0 vs. -0.9 mm Hg; p = 0.006), a change that was associated with reduced risk of death or HFH between 30 days and 2 years (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.91 per -5 mm Hg PASP; 95% confidence interval: 0.86 to 0.96; p = 0.0009).

Conclusions: Elevated PASP is associated with a worse prognosis in patients with HF with severe SMR. TMVr with the MitraClip reduced 30-day PASP and 2-year rates of death or HFH compared with GDMT alone, irrespective of PASP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.09.609DOI Listing
December 2020

Anatomical characteristics associated with hypoattenuated leaflet thickening in low-risk patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Cardiovasc Revasc Med 2020 Sep 25. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

MedStar Health Research Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, United States of America.

Background/purpose: This sub-analysis of the prospective Low Risk TAVR (LRT) trial determined anatomical characteristics associated with hypoattenuated leaflet thickening (HALT), which may contribute to early transcatheter heart valve (THV) degeneration.

Methods/materials: The LRT trial enrolled 200 low-risk patients between February 2016 and February 2018. All subjects underwent baseline and 30-day CT studies, analyzed by an independent core laboratory. Additional measurements, namely THV expansion, eccentricity, depth, and commissural alignment, were made by consensus of three independent readers. HALT was observed only in the Sapien 3 THV, so Evolut valves were excluded from this analysis.

Results: In the LRT trial, 177 subjects received Sapien 3 THVs, of whom 167 (94.3%) had interpretable 30-day CTs and were eligible for this analysis. Twenty-six subjects had HALT (15.6%). Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. There was no difference in THV size implanted and baseline aortic-root geometry between groups. In patients who developed HALT, THV implantation depth was shallower than in patients who did not develop HALT (2.6 ± 1.1 mm HALT versus 3.3 ± 1.8 mm no-HALT, p = 0.03). There were more patients in the HALT group with commissural malalignment (40% vs. 28%; p = 0.25), but this did not reach statistical significance. In a univariable regression model, no predetermined variables were shown to independently predict the development of HALT.

Conclusions: This study did not find anatomical or THV implantation characteristics that predicted the development of HALT at 30 days. This study cannot exclude subtle effects or interaction between factors because of the small number of events.

Summary: This sub-analysis of the prospective Low Risk TAVR trial found that hypoattenuated leaflet thickening (HALT) was associated with shallower transcatheter heart valve implantation. No predictors of HALT were found in a univariable regression analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carrev.2020.09.034DOI Listing
September 2020

Impact of Tricuspid Regurgitation on Clinical Outcomes: The COAPT Trial.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 09;76(11):1305-1314

Cardiovascular Research Foundation, New York, New York; The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Background: The presence of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) may affect prognosis in patients with mitral regurgitation (MR).

Objectives: This study sought to determine the impact of TR on outcomes in patients with heart failure and severe secondary MR randomized to guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) or edge-to-edge repair with the MitraClip in the COAPT (Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients With Functional Mitral Regurgitation) trial.

Methods: A total of 614 patients with symptomatic heart failure with moderate to severe (3+) or severe (4+) secondary MR were randomized to maximally tolerated GDMT plus MitraClip or GDMT alone; 599 had core laboratory evaluable echocardiograms. Patients were divided into 2 groups by baseline TR severity: none/trace/mild TR (≤Mild TR) (n = 501 [83.6%]) and moderate/severe TR (≥Mod TR) (n = 98 [16.4%]). Two-year composite endpoints of death or heart failure hospitalization (HFH) and the individual endpoints were analyzed.

Results: Patients with ≥Mod TR were more likely to be New York Heart Association functional class III/IV (p < 0.0001) and have a Society of Thoracic Surgeons score of ≥8 (p < 0.0001), anemia (p = 0.02), chronic kidney disease (p = 0.003), and higher N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.02) than those with ≤Mild TR. Patients with ≥Mod TR had more severe MR (p = 0.0005) despite smaller left ventricular volumes (p = 0.005) and higher right ventricular systolic pressure (p < 0.0001). At 2 years, the composite rate of death or HFH was higher in patients with ≥Mod TR compared with ≤Mild TR treated with GDMT alone (83.0% vs. 64.3%; hazard ratio: 1.74; 95% confidence interval: 1.24 to 2.45; p = 0.001) but not following MitraClip (48.2% vs. 44.0%; hazard ratio: 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 0.71 to 1.84; p = 0.59). Rates of death or HFH, as well as death and HFH alone, were reduced by MitraClip compared with GDMT, irrespective of baseline TR grade (p = 0.16, 0.29, and 0.21 respectively).

Conclusions: Patients with severe secondary MR who also had ≥Mod TR had worse clinical and echocardiographic characteristics and worse clinical outcomes compared to those with ≤Mild TR. Within the COAPT trial, MitraClip improved outcomes in patients with and without ≥Mod TR severity compared with GDMT alone. (Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients With Functional Mitral Regurgitation [COAPT]; NCT01626079).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.07.035DOI Listing
September 2020

Comparison of contractility patterns on left ventriculogram versus longitudinal strain by echocardiography in patients with Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.

Cardiovasc Revasc Med 2020 Jul 25. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil; Instituto do Coração (InCor), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Background: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TTC) is characterized by transient left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, electrocardiographic changes that can mimic acute myocardial infarction (MI), and release of myocardial enzymes in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Conventionally, gross visual assessment of LV angiogram has been used to classify TTC. We aim to compare quantitative assessment of different regions of LV on angiogram and segmental strain on transthoracic echo to determine a better way to classify TTC rather than conventional qualitative visual assessment.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study of 20 patients diagnosed with TTC who had LV angiogram and transthoracic echocardiograms performed on presentation that were suitable for analysis. 20 LV angiograms were analyzed using Rubo DICOM viewer software. Area of different LV regions were measured in diastole and systole, and percentage change in area of these regions were calculated. Percentage change in area of less than 10% was considered "akinetic". On the other hand, using echocardiograms of these patients, LV regional longitudinal strain (LS) was derived from speckle tracking analysis. These findings were compared to determine concordance between both modalities.

Results: On quantitative analysis of 20 LV angiograms, the area of all the three LV regional (apex, mid ventricle and base) shortening (>10%) was observed in 16 patients (80%) during systole as compared to diastole. However, only 4 out of 20 patients (20%) were noted to have apical region area change of <10% between diastole and systole. Analysis of LV regional LS patterns of 20 patients showed that 14 patients had abnormal values (> -18%) in all three LV regions- apex, mid ventricle and base. The apical region has the most severely affected region (mean LS -13.9%), followed by the basal region (mean -14.7%) and the mid ventricular region (mean -15.1%). Comparing the results of both modalities showed that there was 35% (n = 7) concordance in the results noted for base and apical regions of the LV, whereas, only 20% (n = 4) concordance was noted in mid ventricular region.

Conclusion: Contractility (shortening) on LV angiogram is present in majority of patients in the three LV regions, but contractility assessed by LS is impaired in most of them. The concordance in both quantitative assessment modalities was low. LV angiogram may not be an accurate imaging modality to assess contractility patterns in Takotsubo patients and echocardiographic LS analysis should be taken as the preferred imaging modality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carrev.2020.07.021DOI Listing
July 2020

Short-Term Ventricular Structural Changes Following Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation.

ASAIO J 2021 02;67(2):169-176

From the Department of Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center, New York.

Reverse remodeling of the left ventricle has been reported following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. However, left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) volumetric and shape changes have not been described. Consecutive candidates for LVAD were prospectively enrolled. Comprehensive 2- and 3-dimensional echocardiographic (2DE, 3DE) images were acquired before and 1 to 2 months following LVAD implantation. 3D endocardial surfaces were analyzed to derive shape indices, including LV sphericity and conicity and RV septal and free-wall curvatures. Sixty patients were enrolled with a mean age 56 ± 13 years, 77% male, and 83% destination therapy. 3DE showed that LV end-diastolic volume (EDV) improved from 461 ± 182 to 287 ± 144 ml (p < 0.001) and RV EDV showed no change (p = 0.08). RV longitudinal strain (LS) worsened from -9.1 ± 3.1 to -5.9 ± 2.6% (p < 0.01). LV sphericity and conicity improved (p < 0.001 for both), whereas the curvature of the interventricular septum and RV free wall did not change (p = 0.79 and 0.26, respectively). At 1 month following LVAD implantation, LV volumes decrease dramatically, and there is a favorable LV shape improvement, indicating reverse remodeling. RV shape did not change, whereas RV LS worsened, indicating an absence of RV reverse remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000001214DOI Listing
February 2021

Functional mitral regurgitation.

Curr Opin Cardiol 2020 09;35(5):464-473

MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) is a complex condition in which significant mitral regurgitation coexist with cardiomyopathy and heart failure and carries an increased risk for associated morbidity and mortality. In addition to guideline-directed medical therapy and cardiac resynchronization therapy, percutaneous transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) is a new therapeutic option but requires careful selection of the proper candidates. We describe the different mechanisms of functional mitral regurgitation, review echocardiographic parameters to assess its severity, and discuss recently published relevant studies including TMVr.

Recent Findings: Two randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy and safety of TMVr using the MitraClip in patients with heart failure and severe functional mitral regurgitation were published: MITRA-FR (Percutaneous Repair with the MitraClip Device for Severe Functional/Secondary Mitral Regurgitation) and COAPT (Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients with Functional Mitral Regurgitation). The results of these trials were opposite: although MITRA-FR failed to show clinical benefit, COAPT showed a dramatic clinical and echocardiographic benefit from transcatheter mitral valve repair using the MitraClip device. We discuss these two important trials and how differences in patient enrollment could explain the discrepant results and the manner they may influence future studies and clinical practice.

Summary: Patients with FMR receiving optimal guideline-directed medical therapy and cardiac resynchronization therapy who meet specific clinical and echocardiographic criteria can benefit from transcatheter mitral valve repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HCO.0000000000000770DOI Listing
September 2020

Association of Right Ventricular Longitudinal Strain with Mortality in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2020 04 4;33(4):452-460. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Cardiovascular Core Laboratories, MedStar Health Research Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia; Section of Interventional Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:

Background: Conventional right ventricular (RV) echocardiographic measurements of systolic function (SF) have demonstrated conflicting results when their association with long-term outcomes after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is evaluated. RV free-wall (FW) longitudinal strain (LS) is a novel, single parameter to measure RV SF and may provide a better evaluation than fractional area change, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and myocardial velocity (S'). The value of RV FW LS in patients undergoing TAVR and its association with 1-year mortality are unknown. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that RV FW LS would be associated with 1-year all-cause mortality in patients undergoing TAVR.

Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent TAVR between 2007 and 2014 in whom RV FW LS was measurable were included; a subgroup that had 1-year follow-up echocardiographic evaluation of RV FW LS was analyzed. FW LS was derived from speckle-tracking analyses. The standard reference was determined as normal or impaired RV SF, the latter defined as the presence of ≥50% of tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion < 1.7 cm, S' < 9.5 cm/sec, and fractional area change < 35%. Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis was used to assess the association of RV FW LS with 1-year all-cause mortality.

Results: Of 612 patients, 334 were included for RV FW LS analysis on pre-TAVR echocardiography (feasibility 55%); exclusion criteria included atrial fibrillation (n = 92 [15%]), pacemaker (n = 73 [12%]), and poor image quality (n = 113 [18%]). Baseline impaired RV SF was present in 19% of cases. RV FW LS did not change significantly at 1-year follow-up, in both the groups with baseline impaired and normal function. Cox regression analysis showed that RV FW LS was associated with all-cause mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01-1.11). For each unit increase in RV FW LS, there was a 6% higher risk for 1-year mortality.

Conclusions: In a high-risk TAVR population, RV FW LS should be considered a single echocardiographic parameter for the assessment of RV SF. When measurable, RV FW LS is associated with all-cause mortality at 1 year after TAVR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2019.11.014DOI Listing
April 2020

Safety and Feasibility of Performing Pericardiocentesis on Patients with Significant Pulmonary Hypertension.

Cardiovasc Revasc Med 2019 Dec 22;20(12):1090-1095. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Section of Interventional Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20010, United States of America.

Background/purpose: Pericardial effusion (PE) is a complication of pulmonary hypertension (PHT) and, specifically, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), that confers a worse prognosis. The safety of performing pericardiocentesis in patients with PHT has not been established. We aimed to assess the safety and feasibility of performing pericardiocentesis in patients with significant PHT.

Methods/materials: We performed a retrospective analysis from August 2013 to December 2018 at our tertiary-care center of patients who underwent a pericardiocentesis procedure. Patients, procedure, echocardiographic findings, any major intraprocedural complications, and post-procedural related complications up to 30 days were recorded. Specifically, we studied patients with significant PHT.

Results: The cohort included 170 patients, with an average age of 62.6 years and an even distribution of gender and co-morbidities. The etiology for the PE varied. Major complications were rare (1.7%) and only 10 patients (5.9%) required re-intervention for reaccumulation of fluid. There were 27 patients (15.9%) with significant PHT, 5 with World Health Organization (WHO) Group I PAH (2.94%). In the entire cohort, there were only 3 major complications (1.7%), none among PHT patients.

Conclusions: Pericardiocentesis is a safe procedure, including in patients with significant PHT, including those with WHO Group I PAH. We advocate the use of invasive hemodynamic monitoring in patients with significant PHT.

Summary: Pericardiocentesis tends to be a safe procedure. However, the safety of performing pericardiocentesis in patients with significant pulmonary hypertension has not been well established. We aimed to assess the safety and feasibility of performing pericardiocentesis, and specifically in patients with significant PHT out our tertiary center by performing a retrospective analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carrev.2019.09.022DOI Listing
December 2019

Hemodynamics and Subclinical Leaflet Thrombosis in Low-Risk Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2019 12 12;12(12):e009608. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

MedStar Health Research Institute (D.M., F.M.A.), Medstar Washington Hospital Center, DC.

Background: This analysis evaluated echocardiographic predictors of hypoattenuated leaflet thickening (HALT) in low-risk patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement and assessed 1-year clinical and hemodynamic consequences. HALT by computed tomography may be associated with early valve degeneration and increased neurological events.

Methods: Echocardiograms were performed at baseline, discharge, 30 days, and 1 year post-procedure. Four-dimensional contrast-enhanced computed tomography assessed HALT at 30 days. Independent core laboratories analyzed images. Doppler hemodynamic parameters were tested in a univariable regression model to identify HALT predictors. One-year clinical and hemodynamic outcomes were compared between HALT (+) and (-) patients.

Results: Analysis included 170 patients with Sapien 3 valves and diagnostic 30-day computed tomographies, of whom 27 (16%) had HALT. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. After transcatheter aortic valve replacement, aortic flow was nonsignificantly reduced in patients who developed HALT. Regression analysis did not show significant association between baseline or discharge valve hemodynamics and development of HALT at 30 days. Patients with HALT had smaller aortic valve areas (1.4±0.4 versus 1.7±0.5 cm; =0.018) and Doppler velocity index (0.4±0.1 versus 0.5±0.1; =0.003) than those without HALT at 30 days but not at 1 year. There was no difference in aortic mean gradient at 30 days. There was no difference between the groups in New York Heart Association class, 6-minute walk distance, and mortality at 1 year.

Conclusions: There were no early hemodynamic predictors of HALT. At 30 days, patients with HALT had worse valve hemodynamics than those without HALT, but hemodynamic and clinical outcomes at 1 year were similar.

Clinical Trial Registration: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02628899.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.009608DOI Listing
December 2019

Impact of Baseline Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction in Patients With Severe Aortic Stenosis Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

Am J Cardiol 2020 01 30;125(2):258-263. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Section of Cardiology, MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:

We sought to assess the impact of diastolic dysfunction (DD) grade, as per the 2016 American Society of Echocardiography/European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging guidelines, on survival of patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) who underwent transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). We included consecutive patients with severe AS who underwent TAVI in our institution. DD grading was determined retrospectively according to the 2016 ASE DD guidelines and categorized to grade I-III and indeterminate grade I-II DD. Comparison of 1-year survival according to DD grade was performed by Kaplan-Meier analysis, and evaluation of DD at 1 year was performed in a subset of patients. Among 606 TAVI patients, 394 (65%) had sufficient data for DD grading. Seventy-seven (20%) had grade I DD, 191 (48%) had grade II, 60 (15%) had grade III, and 66 (17%) had an indeterminate grade between I and II. Baseline characteristics indicate higher rates of atrial fibrillation, brain natriuretic peptide level, pulmonary artery systolic pressure, and indexed left ventricular mass as DD grade increases (all p ≤0.01). In conclusion, comparison of 1-year survival revealed a higher rate of mortality in patients with grade III DD that remained statistically significant following adjustment in a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model. DD grade after TAVI improved in patients with grades II and III. Severe AS patients with grade III DD have higher risk for 1-year mortality after TAVI compared with milder degrees of DD. Further research is warranted to explore a potential benefit for aortic valve therapy at an earlier stage of the disease process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.10.016DOI Listing
January 2020

Myocardial Strain, Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, and the Expanding Spectrum of Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2020 02 15;13(2 Pt 2):547-548. Epub 2019 May 15.

MedStar Health Research Institute at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2019.03.014DOI Listing
February 2020

Usefulness of Longitudinal Strain to Assess Remodeling of Right and Left Cardiac Chambers Following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

Am J Cardiol 2019 07 23;124(2):253-261. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

MedStar Health Research Institute, Washington, District of Columbia; MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:

Remodeling after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has been well characterized for the left ventricle (LV) but not for the other cardiac chambers. We aimed to describe conventional indices of cardiac remodeling and novel longitudinal strain (LS) in all 4 cardiac chambers post-TAVI and to explore gender remodeling disparities. Consecutive patients with significant aortic stenosis who underwent TAVI were included if echocardiograms in sinus rhythm before and 1-year postprocedure were available. Speckle tracking analysis was performed retrospectively to evaluate size and function of the 4 cardiac chambers. Baseline and 1-year data were compared. From a total of 612 patients who underwent TAVI, 213 were included in this study (82 ± 9 years old, 42% men). Although no significant size or function changes were seen for right cardiac chambers at follow-up, significant improvements were seen for ejection fraction (EF) and LS in both the LV and left atrium (LA) (p < 0.05 for both). The absolute percentage of LV and LA function improvement was higher for LS than for EF (p < 0.05). Women had smaller LV and right ventricular (RV) size, whereas parameters of LV and RV function were higher. All 1-year remodeling parameters were similar for men and women. Conventional LV remodeling parameters (LV mass) failed to improve 1 year after TAVI. However, novel strain-derived parameters of size and function showed remodeling of left chambers but not of RV or right atrium. The degree of LV and LA remodeling by LS is almost twice that of EF. Remodeling was similar for both genders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.04.029DOI Listing
July 2019

Hemodynamic impact of coronary stenosis using computed tomography: comparison between noninvasive fractional flow reserve and 3D fusion of coronary angiography with stress myocardial perfusion.

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2019 Sep 9;35(9):1733-1743. Epub 2019 May 9.

Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Chicago Medical Center, 5758 South Maryland Avenue, M.C. 9067, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA.

Vasodilator-stress CT perfusion imaging in addition to CT coronary angiography (CTCA) may provide a single-test alternative to nuclear stress testing, commonly used to assess hemodynamic significance of stenosis. Another alternative is fractional flow reserve (FFR) calculated from cardiac CT images. We studied the concordance between these two approaches and their relationship to outcomes. We prospectively studied 150 patients with chest pain, who underwent CTCA and regadenoson CT. CTCA images were interpreted for presence and severity of stenosis. Fused 3D displays of subendocardial X-ray attenuation with coronary arteries were created to detect stress perfusion defects (SPD) in each coronary territory. In patients with stenosis > 25%, CT-FFR was quantified. Significant stenosis was determined by: (1) combination of stenosis > 50% with an SPD, (2) CT-FFR ≤ 0.80. Patients were followed-up for 36 ± 25 months for death, myocardial infarction or revascularization. After excluding patients with normal arteries and technical/quality issues, in final analysis of 76 patients, CTCA depicted stenosis > 70% in 13/224 arteries, 50-70% in 24, and < 50% in 187. CT-FFR ≤ 0.80 was found in 41/224 arteries, and combination of SPD with > 50% stenosis in 31/224 arteries. Inter-technique agreement was 89%. Despite high incidence of abnormal CT-FFR (30/76 patients), only 7 patients experienced adverse outcomes; 6/7 also had SPDs. Only 1/9 patients with CT-FFR ≤ 0.80 but normal perfusion had an event. Fusion of CTCA and stress perfusion can help determine the hemodynamic impact of stenosis in one test, in good agreement with CT-FFR. Adding stress CT perfusion analysis may help risk-stratify patients with abnormal CT-FFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10554-019-01618-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081838PMC
September 2019

3D echocardiographic global longitudinal strain can identify patients with mildly-to-moderately reduced ejection fraction at higher cardiovascular risk.

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2019 Sep 1;35(9):1573-1579. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Severely reduced left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) derived from 2D echocardiographic (2DE) images is associated with increased mortality and used to guide therapeutic choices. Global longitudinal strain (GLS) is more sensitive than LVEF to detect abnormal LV function, and accordingly may help identify patients with mildly-to-moderately reduced LVEF who are at a similarly high cardiovascular (CV) risk. We hypothesized that 3D echocardiographic (3DE) measurements of EF and GLS, which are more reliable and reproducible, may have even better predictive value than the 2DE indices, and compared their ability to identify such patients. We retrospectively studied 104 inpatients with 2DE-derived LVEF of 30-50% who underwent transthoracic echocardiography during 2006-2010 period, had good quality images, and were followed-up through 2016. Both 2DE and 3DE images were analyzed to measure LVEF and GLS. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated for two subgroups defined by the median of each parameter as the cutoff. Of the 104 patients, 32 died of CV related causes. Cox regression revealed that 3D GLS was the only variable associated with CV mortality. Kaplan-Meier curves showed that 2D LVEF, 2D GLS and 3D EF were unable to differentiate patients at higher CV mortality risk, but 3D GLS was the only parameter to do so. Because 3D GLS is able to identify patients with mildly-to-moderately reduced LVEF who are at higher CV mortality risk, its incorporation into clinical decisions may improve survival of those who would benefit from therapeutic interventions not indicated according to the current guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10554-019-01589-7DOI Listing
September 2019

Reproducibility of Semi-automated Three-dimensional Volumetric Analysis using Cardiac Computed Tomography in Patients With Left Ventricular Assist Device.

Cardiovasc Revasc Med 2019 05 23;20(5):381-386. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C., United States of America; MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network, Washington, D.C., United States of America. Electronic address:

Background: Multi-detector gated cardiac computed tomography (CCT) allows three-dimensional (3D) quantification of cardiac chambers and is clinically indicated to assess left ventricular assist device (LVAD) malfunction and complications. Automated volumetric analysis is, however, disrupted by inflow cannula artifact in patients with LVAD. With this study, we evaluated intra-observer variability in semi-automated 3D cardiac volumetric analysis using CCT in patients with LVADs.

Methods: Ten clinically indicated CCTs were studied retrospectively from 9 patients with LVADs. 3D chamber quantification included left and right ventricles end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes (ESV, EDV); and left and right atrial ESV. Derived measurements included cardiac output (CO), ejection fraction (EF), and stroke volume (SV). Automated volumetric analysis was performed, and manual corrections were added when necessary. Absolute and relative differences, Bland-Altman plots, and interclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to assess intra-observer reproducibility for these measurements.

Results: Intra-observer reproducibility was excellent for volumetric (ICC >0.99) and derived data (ICC >0.91). Comparing right vs left heart volumetric assessments, the former had a higher relative difference (atria 2.8% vs 1.6%, ESV 3.0% vs 1.9%, EDV 2.7% vs 1.3%), which also translated to a greater relative difference in right-side derived data (CO 11.1% vs. 8.8%, EF 10.5% vs. 9.9%, SV 10.9% vs. 9.0%). The mean difference in left ventricular ejection fraction was 0.4% (limits of agreement [LOA]: -2 and 3.2) and right ventricular ejection fraction was 1.2% (LOA: -4.7 and 7.1).

Conclusions: Our results for semi-automated 3D volumetric analysis showed excellent reproducibility for both volumetric and derived data.

Summary: Electrocardiography-gated cardiac computed tomography with semi-automated volumetric analysis has excellent reproducibility in patients with left ventricular assist device making it imaging modality of choice for functional assessment in this patient population, where cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is contraindicated and transthoracic echocardiography may be limited by poor acoustic windows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carrev.2019.01.024DOI Listing
May 2019

Echocardiographic Changes in Patients Implanted With a Fully Magnetically Levitated Left Ventricular Assist Device (Heartmate 3).

J Card Fail 2019 Jan 22;25(1):36-43. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation, and Vascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: The Heartmate 3 (HM3) is a Conformiteé Européenne mark-approved left ventricular (LV) assist device (LVAD) with fully magnetically levitated rotor and features consisting of a wide range operational speeds, wide flow paths, and artificial pulse. We performed a hemodynamic-echocardiographic speed optimization evaluation in HM3-implanted patients to achieve optimal LV- and right ventricular (RV) shape.

Methods And Results: Sixteen HM3 patients underwent pump speed ramp tests with right heart catheterization. Three-dimensional echocardiographic (3DE) LV and RV datasets (Philips) were acquired, and volumetric (Tomtec) and shape (custom software) analyses were performed (LV: sphericity, conicity; RV: septal and free-wall curvatures). Data were recorded at up to 13 speed settings. Speed changes were in 100-rpm steps, starting at 4600 rpm and ramping up to 6200 rpm. 3DE was feasible in 50% of the patients. Mean original speed was 5306 ± 148 rpm. LV end-diastolic (ED) diameter (-0.15 ± 0.09 cm/100 rpm) and volumes (ED: 269 ± 109 mL to 175 ± 90 mL; end-systolic [ES]: 234 ± 111 mL to 146 ± 81 mL) progressively decreased as the shape became less spherical and more conical; RV volumes initially remained stable, but at higher speeds increased (ED: from 148 ± 64 mL to 181 ± 92 mL; ES: 113 ± 63 mL to 130 ± 69 mL). On average, the RV septum became less convex (bulging toward the LV) at the highest speeds.

Conclusions: LV and RV shape changes were noted in HM3-supported patients. Although a LV volumetric decrease and shape improvement was consistently noted, RV volumes grew in response to increase in speed above a certain point. A next concern would be whether understanding of morphologic and function changes in LV and RV during LVAD speed change assessed with the use of 3DE helps to optimize LVAD speed settings and improve clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2018.11.015DOI Listing
January 2019

Peak left atrial strain as a single measure for the non-invasive assessment of left ventricular filling pressures.

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2019 Jan 30;35(1):23-32. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular (LV) filling pressures is performed using a multi-parametric algorithm. Left atrial (LA) strain was recently found to accurately classify the degree of diastolic dysfunction. We hypothesized that LA strain could be used as a stand-alone marker and sought to identify and test a cutoff, which would accurately detect elevated LV pressures. We studied 76 patients with a spectrum of LV function who underwent same-day echocardiogram and invasive left-heart catheterization. Speckle tracking was used to measure peak LA strain. The protocol involved a retrospective derivation group (N = 26) and an independent prospective validation cohort (N = 50) to derive and then test a peak LA strain cutoff which would identify pre-A-wave LV diastolic pressure > 15 mmHg. The guidelines-based assessment of filling pressures and peak LA strain were compared side-by-side against invasive hemodynamic data. In the derivation cohort, receiver-operating characteristic analysis showed area under curve of 0.76 and a peak LA strain cutoff < 20% was identified as optimal to detect elevated filling pressure. In the validation cohort, peak LA strain demonstrated better agreement with the invasive reference (81%) than the guidelines algorithm (72%). The improvement in classification using LA strain compared to the guidelines was more pronounced in subjects with normal LV function (91% versus 81%). In summary, the use of a peak LA strain to estimate elevated LV filling pressures is more accurate than the current guidelines. Incorporation of LA strain into the non-invasive assessment of LV diastolic function may improve the detection of elevated filling pressures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10554-018-1425-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6353699PMC
January 2019

Residual native left ventricular function optimization using quantitative 3D echocardiographic assessment of rotational mechanics in patients with left ventricular assist devices.

Echocardiography 2018 10 25;35(10):1606-1615. Epub 2018 Jul 25.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Preservation of native left ventricular (LV) function in patients supported with LV assist device (LVAD) may be beneficial to attain optimal hemodynamics and enhance potential recovery. Currently, LVAD speed optimization is based on hemodynamic parameters, without considering residual native LV function. We hypothesized that alternatively, LV rotational mechanics can be quantified by 3D echocardiography (3DE), and may help preserve native LV function while optimizing LVAD speed. The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of quantifying the effects of LVAD implantation on LV rotational mechanics and to determine whether conventional speed optimization maximally preserves native LV function. We studied 55 patients with LVADs, who underwent 3DE imaging and quantitative analysis of LV twist. Thirty patients were studied before and after LVAD implantation. The remaining 25 patients were studied during hemodynamic ramp studies. The pump speed at which LV twist was maximal was compared with the hemodynamics-based optimal speed. LV twist decreased following LVAD implantation from 4.2 ± 2.7 to 2.3 ± 1.9° (P < 0.01), reflecting the constricting effects on native function. With lower pump speeds, no significant changes were noted in LV twist, which peaked at a higher speed. In 11/25 (44%) patients, the conventional hemodynamic/2DE methodology and 3DE assessment of maximal residual function did not indicate the same optimal conditions, suggesting that a higher pump speed would have better preserved native function. In conclusion, quantitative 3DE analysis of LV rotational mechanics provides information, which together with hemodynamics may help select optimal pump speed, while maximally preserving native LV function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.14101DOI Listing
October 2018

Fusion of Three-Dimensional Echocardiographic Regional Myocardial Strain with Cardiac Computed Tomography for Noninvasive Evaluation of the Hemodynamic Impact of Coronary Stenosis in Patients with Chest Pain.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2018 06 22;31(6):664-673. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Section of Cardiology, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Background: Combined evaluation of coronary stenosis and the extent of ischemia is essential in patients with chest pain. Intermediate-grade stenosis on computed tomographic coronary angiography (CTCA) frequently triggers downstream nuclear stress testing. Alternative approaches without stress and/or radiation may have important implications. Myocardial strain measured from echocardiographic images can be used to detect subclinical dysfunction. The authors recently tested the feasibility of fusion of three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography-derived regional resting longitudinal strain with coronary arteries from CTCA to determine the hemodynamic significance of stenosis. The aim of the present study was to validate this approach against accepted reference techniques.

Methods: Seventy-eight patients with chest pain referred for CTCA who also underwent 3D echocardiography and regadenoson stress computed tomography were prospectively studied. Left ventricular longitudinal strain data (TomTec) were used to generate fused 3D displays and detect resting strain abnormalities (RSAs) in each coronary territory. Computed tomographic coronary angiographic images were interpreted for the presence and severity of stenosis. Fused 3D displays of subendocardial x-ray attenuation were created to detect stress perfusion defects (SPDs). In patients with stenosis >25% in at least one artery, fractional flow reserve was quantified (HeartFlow). RSA as a marker of significant stenosis was validated against two different combined references: stenosis >50% on CTCA and SPDs seen in the same territory (reference standard A) and fractional flow reserve < 0.80 and SPDs in the same territory (reference standard B).

Results: Of the 99 arteries with no stenosis >50% and no SPDs, considered as normal, 19 (19%) had RSAs. Conversely, with stenosis >50% and SPDs, RSAs were considerably more frequent (17 of 24 [71%]). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of RSA were 0.71, 0.81, and 0.79, respectively, against reference standard A and 0.83, 0.81, and 0.82 against reference standard B.

Conclusions: Fusion of CTCA and 3D echocardiography-derived resting myocardial strain provides combined displays, which may be useful in determination of the hemodynamic or functional impact of coronary abnormalities, without additional ionizing radiation or stress testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2018.01.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5988992PMC
June 2018

Feasibility of Left Ventricular Global Longitudinal Strain Measurements from Contrast-Enhanced Echocardiographic Images.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2018 03 23;31(3):297-303. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: Although left ventricular global longitudinal strain (GLS) is an index of systolic function recommended by the guidelines, poor image quality may hamper strain measurements. While contrast agents are commonly used to improve endocardial visualization, no commercial speckle-tracking software is able to measure strain in contrast-enhanced images. This study aimed to test the accuracy of speckle-tracking software when applied to contrast-enhanced images in patients with suboptimal image quality.

Methods: We studied patients with a wide range of GLS values who underwent transthoracic echocardiography. Protocol 1 included 44 patients whose images justified use of contrast but still allowed noncontrast speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE), which was judged as accurate and used as a reference. Protocol 2 included 20 patients with poor image quality that precluded noncontrast STE; cardiac magnetic resonance- (CMR-) derived strain was used as the reference instead. Half the manufacturer recommended dose of a commercial contrast agent (Definity/Optison/Lumason) was used to provide partial contrast enhancement. Higher than normal mechanical indices (0.6-0.7) and lowest frequency range for maximal penetration settings were used for imaging. GLS was measured (Epsilon) with and without contrast-enhanced images and by CMR-derived feature tracking (TomTec). Comparisons included linear regression and Bland-Altman analyses.

Results: The contrast STE analysis failed in 4/64 patients (6%). Manual corrections were needed to optimize tracking with contrast in all patients. GLS measurements were in good agreement between contrast and noncontrast images (r = 0.85; mean GLS in the contrast images, -12.9% ± 4.7%; bias, 0.34% ± 2.4%). Good agreement was also noted between contrast STE- and CMR-derived strain (r = 0.83; mean, GLS -13.5% ± 4.0%; bias, 0.72% ± 2.5%).

Conclusions: We found that GLS measurements from contrast-enhanced images are feasible and accurate in most patients, even in those with poor image quality that precludes strain measurements without contrast enhancement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2017.10.005DOI Listing
March 2018

Microvascular dysfunction and cardiac fibrosis in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a case report.

ESC Heart Fail 2017 11 26;4(4):645-648. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA.

We report the case of a 55-year-old woman with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), who presented with hypertensive urgency and pulmonary oedema. The patient was medically optimized and underwent cardiac catheterization revealing pulmonary hypertension, elevated pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, normal cardiac index, and non-obstructive coronary disease. Invasive evaluation of coronary flow revealed blunted coronary flow reserve and increased index of microvascular resistance. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated reduced global myocardial perfusion and diffuse interstitial fibrosis. This case exhibits a potential HFpEF phenotype associated with microvascular dysfunction, fibrosis, and elevated filling pressures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5695203PMC
November 2017

2D and 3D Echocardiography-Derived Indices of Left Ventricular Function and Shape: Relationship With Mortality.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2018 11 15;11(11):1569-1579. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study hypothesized that left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) and global longitudinal strain (GLS) derived from 3-dimensional echocardiographic (3DE) images would better predict mortality than those obtained by 2-dimensional echocardiographic (2DE) measurements, and that 3DE-based LV shape analysis may have added prognostic value.

Background: Previous studies have shown that both LVEF and GLS derived from 2DE images predict mortality. Recently, 3DE measurements of these parameters were found to be more accurate and reproducible because of independence of imaging plane and geometric assumptions. Also, 3DE analysis offers an opportunity to accurately quantify LV shape.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 416 inpatients (60 ± 18 years of age) referred for transthoracic echocardiography between 2006 and 2010, who had good-quality 2DE and 3DE images were available. Mortality data through 2016 were collected. Both 2DE and 3DE images were analyzed to measure LVEF and GLS. Additionally, 3DE-derived LV endocardial surface information was analyzed to obtain global shape indices (sphericity and conicity) and regional curvature (anterior, septal, inferior, lateral walls). Cardiovascular (CV) mortality risks related to these indices were determined using Cox regression.

Results: Of the 416 patients, 208 (50%) died, including 114 (27%) CV-related deaths over a mean follow-up period of 5 ± 3 years. Cox regression revealed that age and body surface area, all 4 LV function indices (2D EF, 3D EF, 2D GLS, 3D GLS), and regional shape indices (septal and inferior wall curvatures) were independently associated with increased risk of CV mortality. GLS was the strongest prognosticator of CV mortality, superior to EF for both 2DE and 3DE analyses, and 2D EF was the weakest among the 4 functional indices. A 1% decrease in GLS magnitude was associated with an 11.3% increase in CV mortality risk.

Conclusions: GLS predicts mortality better than EF by both 3DE and 2DE analysis, whereas 3D EF is a better predictor than 2D EF. Also, LV shape indices provide additional risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2017.08.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5945352PMC
November 2018

Invasive Validation of the Echocardiographic Assessment of Left Ventricular Filling Pressures Using the 2016 Diastolic Guidelines: Head-to-Head Comparison with the 2009 Guidelines.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2018 01 27;31(1):79-88. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Background: Recent American Society of Echocardiography (ASE)/European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) guidelines for echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular (LV) diastolic function provide a practical, simplified diagnostic algorithm for estimating LV filling pressure. The aim of this study was to test the accuracy of this algorithm against invasively measured pressures and compare it with the accuracy of the previous 2009 guidelines in the same patient cohort.

Methods: Ninety patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography immediately before left heart catheterization. Mitral inflow E/A ratio, E/e', tricuspid regurgitation velocity, and left atrial volume index were used to estimate LV filling pressure as normal or elevated using the ASE/EACVI algorithm. Invasive LV pre-A pressure was used as a reference, with >12 mm Hg defined as elevated.

Results: Invasive LV pre-A pressure was elevated in 40 (44%) and normal in 50 (56%) patients. The 2016 algorithm resulted in classification of 9 of 90 patients (10%) as indeterminate but estimated LV filling pressures in agreement with the invasive reference in 61 of 81 patients (75%), with sensitivity of 0.69 and specificity of 0.81. The 2009 algorithm could not definitively classify 4 of 90 patients (4.4%), but estimated LV filling pressures in agreement with the invasive reference in 64 of 86 patients (74%), with sensitivity of 0.79 and specificity of 0.70.

Conclusions: The 2016 ASE/EACVI guidelines for estimation of filling pressures are more user friendly and efficient than the 2009 guidelines and provide accurate estimates of LV filling pressure in the majority of patients when compared with invasive measurements. The simplicity of the new algorithm did not compromise its accuracy and is likely to encourage its incorporation into clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2017.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5756671PMC
January 2018

Quantification of Right Ventricular Size and Function from Contrast-Enhanced Three-Dimensional Echocardiographic Images.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2017 Dec 17;30(12):1193-1202. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography directly assesses right ventricular (RV) volumes without geometric assumptions, despite the complex shape of the right ventricle, and accordingly is more accurate and reproducible than the two-dimensional methodology, which is able to measure only surrogate parameters of RV function. Volumetric analysis has been hampered by frequent inability to clearly visualize RV endocardium, especially the RV free wall, in 3D echocardiographic images. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that RV contrast enhancement during 3D echocardiographic imaging would improve the accuracy of RV volume and function analysis.

Methods: Thirty patients with a wide range of RV size and function and image quality underwent transthoracic 3D echocardiography with and without contrast enhancement and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging on the same day. RV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes and ejection fraction were measured from contrast-enhanced and nonenhanced 3D echocardiographic images and compared with cardiovascular magnetic resonance reference values using linear regression and Bland-Altman analyses. Blinded repeated measurements were performed to assess measurement variability.

Results: RV contrast enhancement was feasible in all patients. RV volumes obtained both with and without contrast enhancement correlated highly with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (end-diastolic volume, r = 0.90 and r = 0.92; end-systolic volume, r = 0.92 and r = 0.94, respectively), but the correlation for ejection fraction was better with contrast (r = 0.87 vs r = 0.70). Biases were smaller with contrast for all three parameters (end-diastolic volume, -16 ± 23 vs -36 ± 25 mL; end-systolic volume, -10 ± 16 vs -23 ± 18 mL; ejection fraction, -0.7 ± 5.5% vs -2.7 ± 8.1% of the mean measured values), reflecting improved accuracy. Also, measurement reproducibility was improved by contrast enhancement.

Conclusions: Contrast enhancement improves the visualization of RV endocardial borders, resulting in more accurate and reproducible 3D echocardiographic measurements of RV size and function. This approach may be particularly useful in patients with suboptimal image quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2017.08.003DOI Listing
December 2017